Updated: Explosion at Port of Tilbury grain silo. No reported injuries as firefighters take control and make site safe.

By Neil Speight

3rd Jul 2020 | Local News

A MAJOR explosion has been reported in the grain silos at the Port of Tilbury - close to the Grays foreshore.

The explosion happened at around 9.55am.

A spokesperson from The Port of Tilbury said: "We confirm that there has been a major incident within The Port of Tilbury.

"Earlier this morning (3 July) there was an explosion at the grain terminal within the Port of Tilbury. We can confirm that no-one was injured.

"The situation at the grain terminal has now been stabilised and the site is not viewed as posing any immediate further risk. The cause of the explosion will now be the subject of a detailed investigation by the relevant authorities and it will be some time until the results of that investigation are known.

"Our thanks go out to the emergency services and our own team members who attended this incident so quickly.

"The remainder of the port is now fully operational once more."

Nearby resident Geoff Stringfellow who lives in Argent Street, told Thurrock Nub News: "I was indoors and heard a huge bang. It was so loud all the windows shook and rattled."

Four fire crews attended and on arrival, firefighters found grain in a silo was on fire. Crews made sure the fire was under control but the grain is still smouldering.

Two crews, from Grays and Orsett, remain at the scene and are working with site managers to remove the unaffected grain from the silo so it does not ignite.

Crews are working with site managers to get the site back up and running and are liaising with Port of Tilbury Police to allow businesses back to their premises at the appropriate time.

Watch Manager Dave Bond said: "We've now reduced the number of crews needed to two, and these firefighters will continue to remove unaffected grain and allow the grain to smoulder in the top of the grain silo.

"It was a great joint response from the Ambulance Service, Port of Tilbury Police, Fire Service and Port to control the incident and stop it from escalating."

An air ambulance was deployed to the scene and landed at the port at 10.25am. However, just five minutes after another air ambulance had landed at nearby Kilverts Field in Grays to attend a separate incident, the first chopper left the scene at around 11am."

Eye witness Tony Coughlan told Nub News: "I saw the explosion from my house this morning on Thurrock park. It was like a bomb going off and flames were at least 29 ft high when it happened."

Though no-one suffered an injury in the explosion, one person was treated at hospit. East of England Ambulance Service sent crews to the scene and "One patient was transported by land to Basildon and Thurrock Hospital with smoke inhalation," a spokesman said.

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